The Disciplinary Thinking project has been on the road with a trip to the Staff & Educational Development conference in May and the International Threshold Concepts (TC) conference in June. The respective workshop and poster presentation gave us the opportunity to discuss the project, raise awareness of the resources and receive feedback. In particular, it was useful to hear how much the concept of disciplinary thinking is valued. Although the processes of learning or pedagogy may be ‘generic’, being able to engage lecturers in a context meaningful to them makes the understanding of these processes much more acceptable and powerful.
Sarah Maguire & Roisin Curran neatly encapsulated this in their talk at the TC conference where they noted that introducing the idea of TCs within a new lecturers’ programme acted as a trigger /gave permission for them to engage with other scholarship of teaching and learning. By engaging with a theory which is directly relevant to them in their discipline (‘what are the Threshold Concepts for your students?’), colleagues were able to realise and accept the applicability of the wider pedagogic literature
In July we got to the Higher Education Academy conference in Manchester. Jane & Colleen gave a great workshop with nearly 30 participants; they gave an overview of the project and looked at materials from 4 themes: values, e-learning, academic identity/disciplinarity and learning spaces. There was a great deal of interest in the project and lots of enthusiasm for it.
Last stop is the InternatIonal Consortium for Educational Development conference in Bangkok at the end of July: a three hour pre-conference workshop plus a one hour session in the main programme.
We’re now putting in the last few tweaks to the resources; so watch this space for the full set to arrive shortly!